Superdrug tightens mental health checks on Botox customers Society


Superdrug is tightening screening for people looking for Botox, to ensure that those with mental health problems don't get injections because they are not satisfied with their bodies.

The beauty chain and highway pharmacy have acted after the NHS boss criticized him for not carrying out "medical responsibility" checks before the customer began treatment.

They have agreed to introduce improved screening specifically designed to see if those who request to have Botox or similar anti-aging procedures have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

People with BDD worry obsessively about their appearance and some may look for cosmetic or surgical treatments to improve what they see as deficiencies.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of the British NHS, welcomed the move to Superdrug. After the company announced in September that Botox was available at its outlets, he demanded that he do everything possible to protect vulnerable customers.

In a letter this week to Peter Macnab, the company's chief executive, Powis said that at a recent meeting on both of them "Superdrug acknowledged that further, special protection could be done to protect people whose motivation to undergo cosmetic treatment was driven by, related to or can trigger mental health problems such as body dysmorphic disorders. "

He added: "It is exciting to hear that you are taking this problem seriously and have agreed to implement this additional protection."

Superdrug said enhanced screening would refer to a questionnaire approved by the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, but would not use it as a whole.

Kitty Wallace, manager of the foundation, said that most people with BDD were still not satisfied with their appearance even after paying for steps to try to fix it.

"Studies show that less than 10% of patients with BDD are satisfied with the results of cosmetic procedures," he said.

"It is important that these steps be taken to protect these individuals from potentially damaging and unnecessary procedures.

"Even though their anxiety may be temporarily reduced, they will often find themselves fixated on other parts of their body they want to change."

Wallace suggests Superdrug should refer to anyone identified through the new screening process as having BDD for their GP and Mind, a mental health charity.

Superdrug said nurses who specialize in "aesthetic medicine" would conduct "full and extensive consultations" for one hour with anyone looking for anti-aging treatments like Botox, checking their motivation before they can start treatment.

"This enables us to ensure we understand the reasons our patients want aesthetic care. "It also marks our team any risks or problems related to the mental health of patients," he said.

"After productive meetings with the NHS, and as part of our ongoing development of Skin Review services, we have added additional questions specifically for body dysmorphic disorders, in line with the NHS recommendations. This inclusion far exceeds current standards. "

Last year the British NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, criticized ITV for screening advertisements for cosmetic surgery during a break on Cinta Island. He also called for new levies on social media platforms to help fund rising costs for the NHS caring for children and young people with mental health problems.

Powis voiced concern that the cosmetic care industry is self-regulated.

"The lack of rigorous checks on cosmetic procedures means that people depend on businesses that take voluntary steps to get their homes, making people avoid dangerous practices," he said.

Catherine Gamble, the professional leader for mental health at the Royal College of Nursing, said she was not sure Superdrug's actions went far enough.

"To be effective, any mental screening must be done by a qualified doctor such as a mental health nurse. We also want to know who will protect this very personal patient data, whether practitioners will be able to refer to other services, and understand more about the quality of online assessments. "

Dr. Agnes Ayton, vice chairman of the eating disorders faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "We share Prof. Powis's concerns about the potential exploitation of people who are vulnerable to mental health problems by this new business initiative."

He said cosmetic care providers should warn someone's doctor if they have significant concern about their well-being.


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